What Should Church Look Like?

Most North American churches are built on the attractional model. They do things that they hope will attract people to their buildings. They build beautiful buildings, develop pleasing campuses, present professional high-quality music, pour money into state-of-the-art audio-visual systems, acquire expert programing for kids from infancy through High School, and hire dynamic preaching teams to focus on felt needs. And, it works. If you build it, they will come. 

Or, at least it did work, pre-pandemic for people over 45.

After a year and a half of on-line worship services, only about 25% of parishioners are returning to church buildings. Perhaps that will increase if COVID-19 ever stops mutating because the vast majority of people get fully vaccinated. It will likely never go back to previous levels, however.

In my view, that’s a good thing. The attractional model was never biblical to begin with. We, the community of faith, are the church, not a building. We’re supposed to go, not try to get others to come. The community of faith did quite well without any church buildings (basilicas) for three centuries. Simple home fellowships with bivocational leaders are much closer to the ideal. I cannot even imagine how much money churches spend on buildings, programs, and staff – money that could be spent on alleviating poverty and injustice, healing the sick, and strengthening the weak, which is what the gospel is supposed to be all about. 

But, if all we’re doing is enjoying greater convenience, we’re missing the boat. Church isn’t about attracting people, entertaining people, or “getting people saved.” It’s about loving and serving others. To gather, virtually or in a home, in a small group to worship and learn should then empower us to heal, help, and herald God’s Kingdom.

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on August 31, 2021, in anabaptist, Bible, Bible Teaching, Christianity, Jesus, Justice, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, Peace Shalom Hesed, social justice, Spirituality, The Cross, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Yes!


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